Ubuntu: The Gateway Linux

Rikki Endsley

ROSE Blog: Rikki's Open Source Exchange

Apr 15, 2011 GMT
Rikki Kite

Yesterday I upgraded my personal laptop (well, one of them) from Ubuntu 10.10 to Ubuntu 11.4 beta 2. I have a knack for finding bugs, but this time the upgrade was smooth sailing. I was reminded of what my friend said when I first installed Ubuntu for her: This feels like a really expensive system.

Last Spring, when I helped that friend move to Ubuntu after her Windows PC got bogged down with malware and/or viruses, I wrote about the experience on my blog: 7 Tips to help your friends move to Linux. Since that successful move away from Windows, my friend hasn't needed much help from me. In fact, I think I went over to her house only once to check in and make sure everything was running smoothly. Otherwise, she and her family have happily used Ubuntu (although with some grumbling about missing iTunes), and she installed updates with no problems. That is, until last weekend. [Mind you, she went almost a year with no problems with Linux! How many Windows users can say that?]

On Sunday, my friend called and apologized, saying she'd done something wrong to her system. Obviously no apologies to me were necessary. After all, she was the one with a sickly system. She said that she'd been installing updates on her system, then her son used the computer, and then she was locked out and couldn't log in or do anything. I reminded my friend that I'd left a Knoppix DVD in her desk drawer and told her to use it until I could come over this weekend to see what I could do. "You can't mess up anything if you just pop in Knoppix and run the Live DVD," I told her.

Unfortunately, I'd forgotten that I'd left her a double-sided DVD. A little while later, I received this note (slightly edited for a general audience):

"ughhh. i hope i didn't totally &%*! up things even more.....i put in the disk and proceeded thinking i just press go ....i installed whatever was on the other side of the disc. mandriva? i tried to abort but it didn't let me. i didn't know what to do until it was too late. once it was finished i then realized my &%*! up. oh rikki i feel so stupid! i was able to figure out the knoppix enuf to get this far. i am not a geek. never claimed to be. sorry i messed up. hope it isn't another paper weight."

I called my friend and told her not to panic. Luckily, she'd learned her lesson after her Windows experience and had been backing up her photos. She was in good spirits, laughing instead of panicking, and said, "It's just a computer." Always good to have perspective, I suppose.

Today I called to schedule a time to look at her computer and reinstall Ubuntu this weekend. My friend said, "I don't know... We're all kind of liking Knoppix now."

Looks like I'll need to re-install Ubuntu and leave my friend a new, single-sided Knoppix DVD to use, too.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More